Author: Robert Goolrick
Published by: Algonquin Books on January 5, 2010
Genres: Historical Fiction
Book Rating: 5.5/10
Rural Wisconsin, 1909. In the bitter cold, Ralph Truitt, a successful businessman, stands alone on a train platform waiting for the woman who answered his newspaper advertisement for “a reliable wife.” But when Catherine Land steps off the train from Chicago, she’s not the “simple, honest woman” that Ralph is expecting. She is both complex and devious, haunted by a terrible past and motivated by greed. Her plan is simple: she will win this man’s devotion, and then, ever so slowly, she will poison him and leave Wisconsin a wealthy widow. What she has not counted on, though, is that Truitt — a passionate man with his own dark secrets —has plans of his own for his new wife. Isolated on a remote estate and imprisoned by relentless snow, the story of Ralph and Catherine unfolds in unimaginable ways.
With echoes of Wuthering Heights and Rebecca, Robert Goolrick’s intoxicating debut novel delivers a classic tale of suspenseful seduction, set in a world that seems to have gone temporarily off its axis.
In a nutshell I was disappointed.
I picked up this book thinking it might be good to put into book club. Unfortunately, I decided it wasn’t good enough.
For me the characters were flawed, unlikable, and unrealistic. I couldn’t sympathize with any of them.
The story was quite dark and seemed to overly revolve around sex. Now don’t get me wrong I don’t mind a little sex in a book. However, this book took that to another level. Literally, if the main character wasn’t having sex, then he was talking about sex or he was thinking about it.
On a positive note, the story did have some beautiful sentences and the harshness of life in the early 1900s in the Midwestern United States was clearly depicted. And even though for some the plot might have been predictable, I think for others there would be a few unexpected twists.
Overall, I would say if you are someone who has lots of time to read, give it a shot. If not, I would suggest giving it a miss.